For gourmands around the globe, Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin needs no introduction. The original Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin restaurant opened in Tokyo in 2009, helmed by the world-famous Michelin-starred executive chef, Luca Fantin. Well, this opulent dining destination has a second home right here in Bali, within one of the finest clifftop establishments on the island: the breathtaking Bulgari Resort Bali.
Sitting on the gravity-defying Uluwatu clifftops, Bulgari Resort Bali is renowned for unparalleled levels of service and immeasurable luxury, so it’s fitting that such a spectacular name in hospitality would host such refined gastronomy as Luca Fantin’s. And with just 36 seats in the house, Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin is just as intimate and exclusive.
This dinner-only venue specialises in contemporary and creative interpretations of classic Italian cuisine. You can choose from five- or seven-courses of impeccably plated creations, served up in the semi-open-air venue surrounded by soft lighting, lush foliage and a captivating reflection pool. Optional wine pairing is also available (and highly recommended), where fine vintages from around the world are seamlessly matched with each delicate course. You’ll want to dress to impress here, and be sure to arrive early for the pre-dinner Aperitivo Hour, where complimentary Italian canapés are served alongside an award-winning cocktail list and a fiery Bali sunset.
Aperitivo Hour at The Bulgari Bar
While the multi-course degustation dinner at Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin is certainly the main event, we say, arrive early and settle in for sunset at The Bulgari Bar for the nightly Aperitivo Hour. Inviting both in-house and outside guests with reservations to the cliff’s edge, The Bulgari Bar hosts this true Italian aperitivo tradition each evening from 6pm to 7pm. Beautifully perched on the Uluwatu cliff, the bar soaks in an uninterrupted and elevated view of the Indian Ocean below, serving complimentary Italian bites alongside signature cocktails and fine wines.
And in true Bulgari fashion, the bar is unequivocally classy, with the focal point being the sleek, curved black resin bar counter (inspired by the design of the Bulgari Hotel bar in Milan) which is centred by an impressive naturally-sculpted stone as the centrepiece. As the sun begins to dip beneath the ocean horizon, this magical Aperitivo Hour draws to a close, signalling the start of the sensational Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin experience that follows…
The elevated Luca Fantin experience
Being the Michelin-starred chef that he is, Luca Fantin’s sophisticated cuisine is world-renowned. His flagship masterpiece in Tokyo earned its esteem thanks to its unwavering attention to detail, the delicate use of the freshest and finest ingredients from around the world, and the precise presentation for which it’s served. And you’ll be pleased to know that none of the Luca Fantin finesse has been lost at this Bali venture.
The Menù Degustazione (AKA the degustation menu) is a five- or seven-course masterpiece with optional wine pairing, showcasing a regularly changing lineup of stellar dishes according to the seasons. You can, however, always expect to see some of Luca Fantin’s mainstay signatures on the menu, like the iconic squid-ink cold spaghetti crowned by a slick of caviar, or the charcoal-grilled beef, seared table-side with eggplant, olives and capers.
Whatever the season, and whichever set menu you choose, the magic of Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin is in its delicate simplicity, where the refined techniques of European gastronomy coalesce in perfect harmony with the freshness and pure excellence of each ingredient, letting the exemplary quality shine through. For Luca Fantin, it is the knowledge and respect of each ingredient that truly sparks his creativity, using Bali’s seasonal bounty as the muse for his modern Italian cuisine.
The Menù Degustazione
We were lucky enough to secure a hot-seat at this sought-after dining destination, so we of course pushed the boat out with the seven-course degustation menu with fine wine pairing. The dinner began with a spectacular lineup of amuse bouche, each one looking almost too spectacular to eat. This swiftly followed by an exquisite scallop carpaccio, with a subtle zest from the citrus marinade and a soft sweetness from corn jus.
Unsurprisingly so, the signature cold spaghetti with caviar was a standout, as were the distinguished bites of miniature ravioli with red paprika consommé – a classic Italian favourite elevated to an entirely new level. The seafood continued to impress, with the fine lobster risotto that’s vibrant, citrusy and stunningly presented.
The wine pairing was equally spectacular, poured into fine flutes of imported Italian glassware. Fine Italian wines, like the 2019 Tormaresca Chardonnay from Apulia, dominate the menu, with other European favourites like the 2020 Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé from Cotes de Provence, France.
Last but certainly not least, the parade of desserts were nothing short of an art form. We tried the decadent chocolate tortino, with the Bulgari’s logo gold-branded on the shell, crowned by gold flakes and topped with coffee ice cream and a vanilla sauce. It was dishes like these, and the impeccable evening as a whole, that makes it strikingly obvious why Bulgari Resort Bali and Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin have earned such an impeccable repertoire. Compliments to the chef indeed…
Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin at Bulgari Resort Bali, Jl Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin, Uluwatu.